Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.


'Beauty Is Embarrassing': Giant Puppets, Painted Words, And What Art Is All About

Oct 15, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 3:13 pm

I didn't actually know the name "Wayne White" when I went to see the documentary Beauty Is Embarrassing at Silverdocs this summer. But as it turns out, I've certainly seen his work, and even if, like me, you're not visual-arts-oriented enough to know his marvelous word paintings, you may have, too.

Wayne White did some of the puppets and production design for Pee-Wee's Playhouse. He worked on the Peter Gabriel "Big Time" video. He worked on Shining Time Station, Beakman's World, and The Weird Al Show. That strange, big-headed cartoon look that a certain stripe of culture — especially but not exclusively kids' culture — took on in the mid-1980s? Some of that was Wayne White.

He's an absolutely fascinating guy, and Beauty Is Embarrassing, which is available on demand through a lot of cable providers as well as for rent from iTunes and Amazon, lays out the path he took as well as his philosophy of making art. He's wonderfully candid, and he has that quality that a certain kind of artist has where every time he picks up two found objects, they suddenly seem to become something else. At one point, he shows off a puppet made from sticks, and it's the best illustration imaginable that you could find those same sticks, or I could, but they wouldn't become anything. It's his brain. His brain plus stuff is art. True of every artist, but very pronounced with him.

Director Neil Berkeley develops a comfort level with White, as well as his wife (the artist Mimi Pond), and their kids. Much of the film genuinely feels like a series of conversations about art, not just interviews. White is stubbornly committed to the idea that it's okay for visual art to be funny and entertaining as well as moving. When you see his giant-headed LBJ puppet, it's funny, but it's also exquisitely done and great to look at.

It's hard to make a great documentary about an artist without having it all get so abstract and theoretical that you might as well be listening to a speech. But Beauty Is Embarrassing makes extensive use of White's visually vibrant art, which just keeps coming and coming and exists in his house in every state between concept and completion. (It also makes a nice history of Pee-Wee's Playhouse, by the way.) It remains a story at all times — there's a moment at a book signing that will give you a big smile and goosebumps — and it keeps throwing great things to look at up on the screen.

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